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ernment. Stability did not follow this event. The history of the country from the insurrection under Hidalgo has presented a succession of revolutions.
ment. Besides, I thought that the errors into which this Congress might fall, might be corrected by that which should succeed it. This mode of reasoning, which would have been questionable, perhaps under any other circumstances, was suitable to those which then existed, because the object was to avoid greater evils.
“ The result of the elections, therefore, was the formation of a Congress, perfectly conformable to the wishes of the party who influenced its nomination. A few men of undoubted virtue and wisdom, and of the purest patriotism, whose fair reputation was so widely extended that no machinations could prevent them from having a majority of suffrages, found themselves confounded with a multitude of intriguers, of assuming manners and sinister intentions. I do not desire to be credited on my mere assertions; examine the acts of the Congress during the eight months that elapsed from its installation until its suspension. The principal object of its assembling was to draw up a constitution for the empire : not a single line of it was written. In a country, naturally the richest in the world, the treasury was exhausted; there were no funds to pay the army or the public functionaries ; there was no revenue, not even a system of finance established, as that which had existed in the time of the Spanish rule had been abolished, without any other system having been substituted for it. The Congress would not occupy itself in matters of such essential importance, notwithstanding the repeated and urgent solicitations which I made to it in person, and through the secretaries of state. The administration of justice was wholly neglected ; in the changes which had taken place, some of the officers had left the empire, some died, others had embraced new avocations, and the offices and tribunals were nearly deserted. Upon this subject, also, the Congress declined to take any steps : in short, although the empire was in the weakness of infancy, and wanted their assistance at every point, they did nothing. The speeches which were pronounced, turned on matters of the most trifling description, and if any of them happened to touch on topics deserving of consideration, they were, to say the least of them, foreign to the exigencies of the moment. What honors should be paid to the chiefs of the insurrection who had fallen? What should be the form for the oath of an archbishop ? Who ought to nominate the supreme tribunal of justice ? Such, together with a demand for an apostate friar, who was a prisoner in the castle of San Juan de Ulua, and other similar subjects, formed the grave occupations of a body so august in its institution! Add to this, that not a single regulation was made
The people would now yield voluntary submission to a crown, and then become zealous supporters of popular liberty. But short intervals of calm would occur between the scenes of anarchy and violence.
for the government of the interior. The result was, that the Congress became the opprobrium of the people, and fell into a state of abject contempt. The public prints exposed its defects, and even one of the deputies stated his opinion, that it stood in need of reformation.
“ It soon became manifest that the object of those who gave all its movements to that machine, was only to gain time, and to deceive each other until they found an opportunity, for the arrival of which they secretly labored, in order to throw off the mask. Notwithstanding the cunning which they used, and the dissimulation with which they endeavored to carry out their designs, the people and the army saw through their real views. Neither the army nor the people desired slavery on one hand, or republicanism on the other; nor did they wish to see me deposed, or even in any manner offended, and from these feelings arose that distrust with which the whole nation received all the resolutions that originated in so vitiated a body.
“ About the month of April, 1822, a state of agitation was observable, which threatened to end in anarchy. A public measure, effected in a scandalous manner, discovered the hypocrisy of its authors. The Congress deposed three of the regents, leaving in office with me only one, who was well known to be my enemy, for the purpose of reducing my vote in the executive to a nullity. They did not attempt to depose me, from an apprehension that they would be resisted by the army and the people, of my influence with whom they were well aware. This resolution was passed in the most precipitate and singular manner. tion was proposed, discussed, agreed to, and carried into execution in one sitting, whereas it had been previously settled by decree, that every proposition which was submitted to the Congress, should be read three times, at three distinct sittings, before it should be discussed. After this step they proposed another; a commission, appointed for that purpose, presented a regulation concerning the regency, in which the command of the army was declared incompatible with the functions of the executive power. They were jealous of my having the soldiery at my disposal: to such men fear was very natural. This regulation, although it did not receive the sanction of the legislature on account of the want of time, left no doubt of the designs which were entertained against me, and was the immediate cause which accelerated the event of the 18th of May. At ten o'clock, on that memorable night, the people and garrison of Mexico pro
Indeed, from 1828 to 1833, Mexico witnessed the ascendency of Santa Anna, the triumphs of Bustamente, the elevation of Guerrero, the popu
claimed me Emperor. “ Live Agustin the First !" was the univeral cry. Instantly, as if all were actuated by the same sentiment, that extensive capital was illuminated ; the balconies were decorated, and filled with the most respectable inhabitants, who joyously echoed back the acclamations of the immense crowds of people which thronged all the streets, especially those near the house where I resided. Not one citizen expressed any disapprobation, a decided proof of the weakness of my enemies, and of the universality of the public opinion in my favor. No accident or disorder of any kind occurred. The first impulse of my mind was to go forth and declare my determination not to yield to the wishes of the people. If I restrained myself from appearing before them for that purpose, it was solely in compliance with the counsel of a friend who happened at the moment to be with me. • They will consider it an insult," he had scarcely time to say to me," and the people know no restraint when they are irritated. You must make this fresh sacrifice to the public good ; the country is in danger; remain a moment longer undecided, and you will hear their acclamations turned into death-shouts.” I felt it necessary to resign myself to circumstances; and I spent the whole of that night in allaying the general enthusiasm, and persuading the troops to give time for my decision, and in the meanwhile to render obedience to the Congress. I went out repeatedly to harangue them, and wrote a short proclamation, which was circulated the following morning, and in which I expressed the same sentiments as those I addressed to the people. I convened the regency, assembled the generals and superior officers, communicated what had occurred by dispatch to the president of the Congress, and requested him to summon immediately an extraordinary sitting. The regency was of opinion that I ought to yield to public opinion; the superior officers of the army added, that such also was their unanimous opinion, that it was expedient I should do so, and that I was not at liberty to act according to my own desires, as I had dedicated myself entirely to my country; that their privations and sufferings would be useless if I persisted in my objections; and that having compromised themselves through me, and having yielded me unqualified obedience, they had a claim to my compliance. They subsequently drew up a memorial which they presented to the Congress, requesting it to take this important matter into its consideration. This paper was signed also by the individual who subsequently officiated as president of the act of Casa-Mata, and by one of the present members of the executive body.
larity of Gomez Farias, the victories of Bravo, the Presidency of Pedraza, and the disgrace of each and all in succession. In 1834 Santa Anna forced
“ The Congress met on the following morning; the people crowded to the galleries and the entrance to the chamber : their applauses were incessant; a joyous agitation was observable in every face; the speeches of the deputies were interrupted by the impatience of the multitude. It is difficult to obtain order in moments like these ; but such an important discussion required it, and in order to attain that object, the Congress required that I should be present at the sitting. A deputation was appointed, who communicated the invitation to me. I declined it, because as they were about to treat of me personally, my presence might be considered as a restraint on the freedom of debate, and an impediment to the clear and frank expression of each individual's opinion. The deputation and several general officers, however, prevailed on me to accept the invitation, and I immediately went out in order to proceed to the place where the Congress were assembled. The streets were scarcely passable, so crowded were they with the inhabitants of the capital; they took the horses from my carriage, and I was drawn by the people, and amidst their enthusiastic acclamations, to the palace of the Congress. On entering the hall where the deputies were assembled, the rivas were still more enthusiastic, and resounded from every quarter.
“ The question of the nomination was discussed, and there was not a single deputy who opposed my accession to the throne. The only hesitation expressed by a few, arose from a consideration that their powers were not extensive enough to authorize them to decide on the question. It appeared to them that it would be necessary to notify the subject to provinces, and to require from them an enlargement of powers already granted, or new powers specifically applicable to this case alone. I supported this opinion, as it afforded me an opportunity of finding out some means for evading the acceptance of a situation which I was most anxious to decline. But the majority were of a contrary opinion, and I was elected by seventy-seven voices against fifteen. These latter did not deny me their suffrages; they confined themselves simply to the expression of their belief, that the provinces ought to be consulted, since they did not think their powers ample enough, but at the same time they said that they were persuaded that their constituents would agree with the majority, and think that what was done was in every respect conducive to the public welfare. Mexico never witnessed a day of more unmixed satisfaction ; every order of the inhabitants testified it. I returned home as I had proceeded to the Congress, my carriage drawn by the people, who crowded
the Congress to suspend its Sessions, and while that body were engaged in remodelling the constitution, commenced the Texas revolution, which ended in the independence of that country, thus severing for ever from Mexico a large portion of her territory, and which subsequently produced results of the greatest magnitude, involving two great republics in the conflict of arms, and terminating in the conquest of Mexico and the dismemberment of her territory. This brings us to the important question of the Texas revolution, the independence of that country, its annexation to the United States, and the war which ensued, which will be examined more in detail.
around to congratulate me, expressing the pleasure which they felt on seeing their wishes fulfilled."